Finance Talent: Insights from Ryan

The demand for talent that can implement new finance approaches, manage transitions and transformations and be part of the value creation process in PE portfolio companies is always high on the Talmix network. We put Ryan under the spotlight to understand more about how he works independently and the difference he makes.

Q. When you’re at a networking event, how do you describe your independent career status, and where you focus your work?
I have a unique skillset in helping private equity owners onboard their new portfolio companies from a financial perspective and more generally coach management teams and investment professionals to be able to communicate with each other and get aligned along common goals.  

2. What are the specific benefits that you, as an independent, offer to the operating teams/portfolio company leadership? How do you explain the value your expertise brings?When a business is acquired, there is usually a lot to do to onboard the company and help it to transition to the next phase of its growth.  That is where I come in and work with the owners, management teams, and third-party consulting firms to make sure that everything is moving forward and is aligned with the investment thesis of the new owners.  Everyone has their day jobs and I take some of the burden of all of the one-time activities that need to happen so that the management teams can stay focused on running their business. 

3. Why do you think there is increasing demand for independent expertise with PE operating teams?
There is just a mountain of things that need to get done during the transition phase and no one has the time or expertise to get it done.  A lot of financial management teams have never prepared reporting packages, worked through purchase accounting, prepared credit agreement reporting information, worked through Transition Services Agreements, and on and on…..just a lot to do and not a ton of experience on management teams as it is not a normal or familiar part of what they do. 

4. Describe a recent or successful assignment in terms of scope, duration and any particular highlights in the outcomes.
I was brought into a situation involving a fast-growing business that had never invested much in its “G&A Infrastructure” and instead invested all of its free cash flow in continuing to grow the business.  As a result, when the business was purchased by private equity it did not have the ability to meet all of the new requirements from a reporting perspective, from an HR perspective, from an IT perspective and needed to quickly put an infrastructure in place that enabled to continue on its growth path and satisfy all of its new constituencies (owners, lenders, insurance providers, regulatory, etc). I was able to quarterback the creation and management of all of these functions. 

Teams needed to be built, recruited, educated, and systems and processes needed to be put in place to enable the business to meet all of its new requirements.  Existing company leadership did not have the time or expertise to focus on a lot of these transition type activities and having seasoned independent professionals on the ground walking through all of this with the management team and owners was extremely beneficial to enable the business to continue its growth path and achieve the owners investment thesis objectives.    

5. What advice would you give to anyone about to embark on an independent career as to how they can provide the best results for a client, while fulfilling their own career path?
There is an endless amount of opportunity right now to serve as a liaison in between management teams and private equity owners and work on really cool things with very smart people and business leaders.  Neither side always knows what to expect, and having someone in between who does know what to expect and what to do is extremely valuable to the success of private equity investments.

If you'd like to engage with talent like Ryan to make a difference to your portfolio businesses, you can post your project now, or talk to us about building talent pools to get ahead of your future requirements. 

About the Author

Dorothy Mead

Dorothy is a technology marketing veteran who is responsible for building the Talmix brand globally and creating digital programmes to engage and retain our audiences.

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